Positive Influence Plans for Business Teams LDR/531 October 15, 2012 Positive Influence Plans for Business Teams Teams are an important part of an organization. The team process creates an environment that allows employees to respect one another and work cohesively to meet an objective or goal that the organization has assigned (Michael, 2012). Michael (2012) defines “TEAM” as “Together Each Achieve More” because teams are composed of individuals with specific skills, knowledge, and levels of abilities; each will achieve more if there is positive influence and understanding throughout the duration of the project in a team environment (p.
1). Understanding of Teams Can Lead to Positive Influence A project has been assigned to your department with a completion anticipated within one year. The organization has decided to form a team to be responsible for accomplishing the objectives of the project in which the collective knowledge can be gathered, documented, and delivered in a thorough efficient manner. It is important that the team has adequate resources, leadership and structure, climate of trust, as well as some form of incentive or reward systems to keep motivation throughout the project (Robbins & Judge, 2011).
The team has to understand the abilities, personalities, roles, and importance of diversity that can affect the dynamics of the team performance (Robbins & Judge, 2011). In a team environment the common interest, values, social interaction, cooperation, appreciation, and recognition, in addition to positive reinforcement from team members can be aspects that result in job satisfaction and fulfillment leading to a successful project (Yukl, 2010). Motivation and Understanding It is necessary to motivate team members throughout a lengthy project.
It is important that teams work to gather resources, establish the leadership roles and structure of the team, understand the importance of trust, and provide incentives (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Teams should also keep in mind the importance of embracing the diversity of the team and the effect it can have on the outcome of the project. Gathering Resources. Each team member will be responsible to gather information that will contribute toward the goals of the team. Robbins and Judge (2011) state that teams are a part of a larger organization” (p. 19), therefore the team is codependent on external resources to sustain and provide supportive information. The positive relationship that each team member has established with external resources will be essential in a timely turnaround, in additional to a diverse overview and input to support the project. Establishing Team Member Roles. It is not necessarily the case that a leader on one project will be the leader throughout every project assigned by the organization thereafter.
It is important that when the team is formed that the leadership role is established and the delegation of responsibilities are fairly distributed to keep the motivation and drive of the team. Dependent on the objective, the team will have to select a team leader whose personality can handle the demands of the project as well as provide oversight throughout the project. If the team leader does not have the motivation or drive to motivate the team, it will affect the performance of the team resulting in complication or delays in the project.
To reduce team resistance, it will be necessary that the leader has a positive attitude, respects and understands the cultural values of the team members, and can relate to the team members when working on the project objectives (Kirkman & Shapiro, 2001). Trust Can Be a Motivator. Trust can be an effective bond that motivates the team members to explore alternative methods, approaches, and possible risks if all members trust and support the leader or team decisions (Robbins & Judge, 2011).
Teams are more likely to cooperate and not micro-manage one another when the team trust is established. Cooperation is essential when working on projects for a long period of time and may create stressful conditions (Yukl, 2010). Team members have to trust that the decisions made are for the benefit of the project objects, if not then slowly the motivation for the project will decline as the trust deteriorates. As trust develops over time, once established, it will allow the teams members to share in similar values and understanding (Prati, Douglas, Ferris, Ammeter, & Buckley, 2003).
To positively influence and encourage trust, some organizations participate in ropes courses, or other interactive events where the team members must depend on other members to accomplish a task. Incentives to Drive Motivations. Rewards and incentives are motivators for individuals in team environments and can be structured effectively to motivate the employees toward meeting the objectives or goals for the team (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Robbins and Judge (2011) explain that management can modify traditional individual evaluations and incentives to reflect team performance.
Incentives can motivate employees to keep a positive attitude, as well as ensure that their focus is kept on the project objective. Incentives and rewards motivate employees to work cohesively as well as perform in an efficient and professional manner. Positive Influence and Team Performance Effective teams highlight the abilities, understand team member’s personalities, and embrace the diversity that the team environment embodies, in order to make a positive influence that can affect the team performance. If the attitudes are not balanced and the personalities do not complement one another, the team performance can be jeopardized.
If emotions are not considered and an individual places his or her personal values over the team objective, the team performance will begin a downward path leading to an unproductive environment. The focus and effort to maintain positive influence is essential to keep the team momentum and high performance. Highlight Abilities of Team Members. A team can only be as effective as the individual members (Robbins & Judge, 2011). It is necessary to have individuals on the team who have technical expertise, problem-solving and decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, or a combination of these abilities and knowledge (Robbins & Judge, 2011).
Highlighting the abilities and contributions each member brings to the team will help build the trust in the members, as well as identify resources as the project progresses. For example, seasoned team members can offer new team members insight, knowledge, and learning opportunities this in turn will create a positive work environment that enhances each member to perform at their best (Prati et al. , 2003). Personalities Can Influence Positive Influence. Robbins and Judge (2011) explain that “personalities can influence individual employee behavior” (p. 23). Understanding the personality traits of the team members is an important factor that can be a positive influence. If management or the team leader understands the individual’s thought process, they are more likely to have the connection of knowing when he or she needs with respect to support and encouragement. In addition, this will be a positive relationship in which open candid conversations can take place, as well as the ability for team members to be creative and innovative (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Team Leaders Role in Team Performance.
Chen, Kirkman, Kanfer, Allen, and Rosen (2007) state that their research “suggest that team leaders should first and foremost focus on empowering their teams, given that team empowerment can simultaneously enhance individual empowerment and performance” (p. 343). The positive influence that the team leader has to empower the team members can result in higher performance, job satisfaction, and motivation to excel on the project. Embracing Diversity. Embracing innovation and creativity as well as respect for cultural and personal differences can improve team performance.
Diversity is a positive factor because it provides the team with different perspectives and not focusing too heavily on the similarities (Robbins & Judge, 2011). During the project, diversity will allow the team to think about various situations as a result of the discussion and brainstorming process as they gather the information, research, and begin making decisions for the project. Job Satisfaction Common interest, values, social interaction, cooperation, appreciation, and recognition for team members can be aspects that make positive influences on how satisfied team members are with their job, the team, and its organization.
Common Interest and Values. Yukl (2010) emphasizes that common interest and values are viewpoints that make a group stronger. Job satisfaction can be achieved if members can communicate and agree about what the objectives, priorities, approach methods, and importance of cooperation within the team. Team members are also satisfied in their contribution if the team leader has mutual interest, shared objectives, and open communication that leads the group in a positive direction toward accomplishing the project. Appreciation Moments.
Whether there are ceremonies, team rituals, celebrations, extra-curricular activities, or meeting to appreciate the accomplishments of team milestones, productivity, or team changes, it send a positive message that hard work does not go unnoticed as well as the organization keeps the employees informed and involved. Appreciation can empower individual team members, and team leaders should ensure they develop high levels of mutual trust and respect with his or her team members by showcasing accomplishments (Chen et al. , 2007). Social Interaction.
Social interaction is a positive influence because it provides the team members to get to know each other on a personal level, and it is found that social interaction falls under satisfaction in the team environment (Yukl, 2010). This can be accomplished by having company parties or regularly scheduled lunches that allow the team members to interact and speak freely, more so to get to know one another better. Yukl (2010) describes another aspect of social interaction as a commonplace that the team can display accomplishments, values, progressive charting, or team objectives and even in some cases hash out differences to clear the air.
Social interaction for many individuals is a desired aspect that defines job satisfaction and makes the job more rewarding as the bond with team members is created and developed throughout the project. Conclusion When an organization places demands and deadlines on a team, the stress begins and does not cease until the project is completed. It is important that the team morale is upbeat, and team members feel satisfied, motivated, and have the passion to perform.
Having a positive approach to challenges issues that arise in any project will get the team closer to the resolution in a timely manner rather than dwell on the complexity of the challenge. Establishing the understanding of the roles, responsibilities, expectations, and cooperative communication early on is important when delivering a complete project with all objectives accomplished. Trusting those who are an integral part of the team as well as embracing the diversity that the team environment encompasses is instrumental in keeping the motivation, satisfaction, and respect of team members.
References Chen, G. , Kirkman, B. L. , Kanfer, R. , Allen, D. , & Rosen, B. (2007). A Multilevel Study of Leadership, Empowerment, and Performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(2), 331-346. Retrieved from http://www. jwalkonline. org/docs/Grad%20Classes/Fall%2007/Org%20Psy/Cases/leadership/leadership%20articles/multilevel%20lead%20empower%20perf%20in%20teams. pdf Kirkman, B. L. , & Shapiro, D. L. (2001). The Impact of Cultural Values on Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment in Self-Managing Work